Class Prep: Trying to map—in a vulgar but systemic way—the biopolitical structure and gendered techniques of Latin-Christian Europe’s (post-Doctrine of Discovery) approach to enslavement and settler colonialism in Africa and the Americas. Emphasis here is on the ways in which the mission of saving souls and the mission of accumulating wealth (in the form of lands and of bodies-as-commodities) operated as two sides of the same coin as the mode of producing wealth converged with the mode of producing, and reproducing, Christianity as an imperial project.
- • • • low end theory turned 5 today!
(so, wow. i haven’t been on much recently—still trying to figure out how to fake the prof thing until i make it. or don’t. but thanks to everyone who’s been reading this thing for a while. more to come soon.)
From Out of Time—Out of Control—Lesbian Committee to Support Women Prisoners, Issue #37, April 1997.
running, sweating, side-eyeing. this, for better or worse, goes pretty far in summing up my life in southern california at present.
(just to be clear: no, i’m not going to actually write that on a student’s paper. this is not because i consider myself to be above a pedagogy of shaming in approaching masculinist habits of mind. it’s because it’d be far too individualized and punitive an approach toward intervening in a ideology that this student is in no way alone in holding. what i likely will do, however, is read some revised version of it to the class in which i’ll stress that it’s this privatized labor that we need to account for when we’re thinking about “how labor power is produced and reproduced when it is daily consumed.” but i’m glad that my rantypants tendencies are appreciated. by the way, hi, tumblr. it’s been too long.)
I’m grading papers again. Teaching the 19th century requires cutting through a whole lot of ideology.
tryna get my life organized guys.
New Years Resolutions 2014
Cut down aggressively on the use of the word “people” in the generic sense (as in, “people do x" or "I’m tired of people doing z”) as a way of avoiding specificity, or avoiding offending sensibilities.
Instead, name names. Allow yourself to be impolitic, to be a little bit reckless. And be reckless not as a way of blowing off steam, not as a safety valve, but as a way of confronting head-on your own fear of being disliked, and seeing what might come of that.
Develop at least a little more entitlement toward the world. Model for your students of color how they might do so as well.
Reminder: You’ve seen too many faculty members say that they’ll do politics when they get tenure, then remain every bit as depoliticized upon getting it. If you have to wait for official protection to get involved in politics, there won’t be a politics worthy of the name waiting for you on the other side. And don’t believe the hype; you won’t have more time if you manage to get tenure. You’ll have more administrative responsibilities, more big courses, more letters of recommendation to write.
Spend a lot more time figuring out what you really care about in a deep sense and fight for its place in your life and its right to exist and flourish in the world.
Write. Every day.
guys I just finished an article so here’s a tired selfie.
rewatching passenger 57 just for the “always bet on black” line.
self-study in side-sweepage
Guys I really don’t know what it means to be a professor.
From a reading response from my Intro to Lesbian and Gay Studies course (the same one where this happened), 1/28/2004:
I want to take [Lisa] Duggan’s point [in “History’s Gay Ghetto: The Contractions of Growth in Lesbian and Gay History”] a little further. If there has been a ghetto created in history by the invisibility of queerness and queer people in mainstream discourse, how do the everyday categories that we use either perpetuate or subvert this situation? For example, let’s look at our class. Our Introduction to Lesbian and Gay Studies class has been placed in the Women’s Studies department. What does that mean? After reading Duggan, I wonder if placing it in the Women’s Studies department plays a part in the ghettoization of lesbian and gay history. Does the newer and less accepted discipline of lesbian and gay studies need to be couched in an already-existing disciplinary category in order to be considered legitimate? Do we run the risk of rendering gay and lesbian studies less legitimate in only considering them an extension of women’s studies? Discursive and disciplinary violence work mostly through invisible means and mechanisms, and I wonder if we are re-creating a form of disciplinary violence in the process of legitimating history.
It’s disconcerting, the realization that questions I was asking when I was twenty remain with me in embryonic form ten years later.